Edinburgh pub is first to receive coveted Community Hero award after owners turn its bad reputation around

Owners have worked tirelessly to make the pub a big part of the local community

Staff and regulars at a popular Edinburgh pub are celebrating after it won a prestigious award.

The Waverley Inn, on Southhouse Broadway, was given a Community Hero Award by Scottish Labour MP for Edinburgh South Ian Murray in recognition of the efforts made by the pub to support the local community.

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Local residents John and Tracy Blair took on the pub in July 2021 during covid restrictions, having never run a pub before. Prior to taking it on John had been a taxi driver and mechanic and Tracy worked for a firm of accountants.

The Waverley Inn, on Southhouse Broadway, was given a Community Hero Award by Scottish Labour MP for Edinburgh South Ian Murray.The Waverley Inn, on Southhouse Broadway, was given a Community Hero Award by Scottish Labour MP for Edinburgh South Ian Murray.
The Waverley Inn, on Southhouse Broadway, was given a Community Hero Award by Scottish Labour MP for Edinburgh South Ian Murray.

A local boy, The Waverley Inn was (and still is) John’s local. But his favourite boozer lost its way for a time, gaining a poor reputation locally.

John and Tracy turned the situation around – in spectacular fashion, truth told – and have made it a cornerstone of the community.

From day one they started raising money to help the community. Raffles, discos, a sell-out summer party for 150, race nights, karaoke and pool, darts and dominoes days all helped raise funds.

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From July 2021 to December 2022 they raised £2700, which was spent on kids Halloween and Christmas parties. The latter included each child receiving a scarf, hat or gloves to keep them warm, a selection box, a present from Santa and a warm buffet.

Money also went on providing pensioners with warm Christmas lunches and £200 each went to St Catherine’s and Gracemount local primary schools together with Christmas presents for those children unable to come to the party.

A delighted Tracy said: “We were both surprised and overwhelmed to be given this award. It is an acknowledgment of the hard work put into making The Waverley Inn a hub of the community.

“The award isn’t just ours, it’s our staff’s and the community as a whole who have got behind what we’re trying to do with the pub and to help the community. All of us are delighted and proud to have had this recognition.

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“We’ve just invested in upgrading our lounge to broaden The Waverley Inn’s appeal from a male dominated pub to somewhere women and couples can enjoy socialising.

”Star Pubs & Bars will be giving the outside of the pub a makeover in the coming months to bring the exterior up to the standard of the new lounge, more reasons to make the community proud.

“As for the career changes, we have no regrets. We love running a pub and helping the community, even though it is much harder work than we anticipated.”

Ian Murray MP said: “I was absolutely delighted to present the Waverley Inn with their Community Hero award this afternoon. It is the first pub in the area to receive a Community Hero award.

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“The pub is a true pillar of the Edinburgh South community and offers a warm and welcoming environment for all.

“It is a shining example of what a pub should be and, as someone with a background in hospitality, it is so refreshing to see how John and Tracy run their business with the local community in mind.

“The fact that they were nominated by their own customers shows how loved and respected they are by local residents – congratulations and well done.”

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